John Kline, a co-captain on Kansas University's 1940 NCAA Final Four basketball team, died Thursday at Brandon Woods Retirement Community. He was 84.
Legendary coach Phog Allen called that KU club his Pony Express because of its lack of size, even for that era.
Showman and promoter that he was, Allen once had starters Kline, Dick Harp, Bob Allen, Ralph Miller and Howard Engleman pose in cowboy attire astride ponies to emphasize their nickname.
Kline, a junior that season, stood just taller than 6-foot-2.
Kansas whipped heavily-favored Southern Cal in the 1940 NCAA Final Four semifinals at Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium, but Indiana thumped the Jayhawks, 60-42, in the championship game.
Kline, a native of Hutchinson, served in the Navy during World War II, then returned to his hometown and ran an insurance agency until he retired.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Park Place Christian Church in Hutchinson.